Sick Teams usually share one thing in common: They don’t trust each other.
How do you fix a team that doesn’t trust? First of all, agree on what it means to trust each other. Most of us define it as Predictive Trust. We trust each other to complete our tasks, especially when others are depending on our work in order to complete theirs. However, there is a deeper level of trust that is crucial to a healthy team. This is Vulnerability-based Trust. This means I can trust you to tell you that, I screwed up. I made a mistake. I need help. Without vulnerability-based trust, teamwork is impaired or in the worst case scenario: teamwork dies.
How do you increase the level of trust on your team?
Engage in activities that help team members get to know each other. We create mental files for everyone on our team. The more data we have in those files or the more we know about our team the more we’re able to give them the benefit of the doubt when they do something that doesn’t make sense.
Here’s an activity:
Have each team member share their birthorder, how many siblings they have, one obstacle they managed to overcome as a kid, and how that relates to their work style in the present. This simple activity provides more data for that mental file. Team members will have a deeper understanding of each other that will increase the level of vulnerability-based trust.
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Encore Life Skills can help your team work more effectively. We provide team assessments and facilitation in The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, based on the best-selling book by Patric Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.